Volcano Bay is now under construction on 28 acres just south of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort. When completed late next spring, it will offer 19 water-based attractions across four themed zones: Rainforest Village, River Village, Wave Village, and Krakatau — the volcano at the heart of the park which gives it its name. Here's the teaser video:
In a blog post introducing the park's line-up, Universal promises that it "found a way to get rid of long lines," which, of course, raising the question of what that will be? Has Universal found a way to create water slides with infinite capacity? Will Volcano Bay employ some sort of mandatory ride reservation/virtual queuing system? Or will Universal simply raise the admission price to the point where only a couple of thousand people from around the world can afford to go? (We're betting on the ride reservation/virtual queuing system.)
Universal did hold back one big piece of news about the park — a "secret attraction" in Krakatau that will "be like nothing else in the park." Any guesses on what that might be?
Otherwise, Krakatau will feature three drop-floor body slides, including the 125-foot, 70-degree Ko'okiri Body Plunge, "the world's first slide to travel through a pool filled with guests." The volcano also will be home to Punga Racers, "a high-speed race through four different enclosed slides featuring manta-shaped mats."
Other lands will include wave pools, leisure pools, lazy rivers, playgrounds, and raft rides... as well as North America’s first saucer ride, "sending multi-passenger rafts speeding around three saucer-shaped curves."
In a press conference at the U.S. Travel Association's IPW convention in New Orleans today, where Universal first revealed the Volcano Bay details, the resort also said that the park will be open by next June 1, and that Universal Orlando will start selling a three-park "Explorer" ticket by then. It did not reveal the price.
Universal's current water park, Wet 'n' Wild, will close at the end of this summer. Wet 'n' Wild, the first modern water park, was created by one of the founders of SeaWorld and obtained by Universal several years ago.Tweet
I think it's a great idea to have the water slide go through a swimming pool instead of a shark pool. Humans are by far the more dangerous creature in comparison, so it should be infinitely more thrilling.
But I'll definitely try this place out one day. Looks fun so far.
Park size (source: Orange County property appraiser website,
Typhoon Lagoon 55 Acres (20 of which is parking, and 1 a retention pond) so effectively 34 acres
Blizzard Beach 58 Acres (20 of which is parking and 2 retention pond) : effectively 36 acres
Aquatica 58 acres, 8 of which is a retention pond and 20 a parking lot, effectively 30 acres
Wet N Wild 24 Acres, parking is across the street. Effectively 24 acres
Volcano Bay 32 Acres, no parking, no ponds - Effectively 32 Acres
I don't have Diagon Alley, or Spidey, or Transformers. Do I want to take 1/2 to a full day to do this?
It seems like they are going for a On Property type of audience, I can't see too many locals will to go pay $20 to park in the garages and then wait for a shuttle over there. Then again, maybe they want to weed out the locals and go for the market that is willing to buy all the souvenirs, snacks etc at the park.
I went to Wet N' Wild last week as a farewell since my mom was a lifeguard when it first opened and I haven't been in 5-7 years. I was instantly baffled when they gave me a blue waterproof wristband upon entry with no explanation and signs I ignored. I figured the wristband was just a proof of ID or whatever.
Anyways we tried riding The Storm, our first ride, and the attendant who stood before a glorified iPad said "we had to go reserve via wristband" first. We turned around and there were 3 monitors with little squares below them. They displayed the wait time of the ride, and a sign explained if we tapped our wristband on the square it would give us a time to come back to the queue eerily similar to how you used to reserve fastpasses at Disney. Note, there were not actual fastpass lanes though, everyone had to do it one way. So in 5 minutes we came back and tapped our wristband to another square connected to the attendee's iPad. She then let us on.
It seemed odd to me they were testing this the last year of Wet N' Wild when they wouldn't even attempt to fix Bomb Bay, which is now permanently closed (Der Stuka is still open). So, unless they've been doing this for years and I never heard about it I figured they're running trials for Volcano Bay.
Pros? My wristband never broke, stopped working, etc. Pretty well made, little bit of a wider, not thicker, plastic wristband with a larger rectangle where the sensor is. Which, after opening up, looked like more plastic with lines, again very well made. For the most part we had no issues, and if we did they had more then plenty of attendees waiting to help. They also use similar wristbands for locker rental which we had no issues with.
Cons. To me, the idea of waiting around to then wait in line is just more complicated nonsense. But, then again, I also have no problems waiting in lines up to 6 hours (but I definitely don't prefer them) I guess to others, being able to lounge around in the lazy river, the lack thereof wave pool, or go get something to eat, then go wait in a 5-15 min line is worth it. To me, I'd rather just suck it up and wait on the staircase. The other huge issue is that once you reserve to ride that specific ride youre locked in. So you cannot reserve the 60 min Disco H20 and then go ride the no line Black Hole in the meantime. If they could somehow add that, or something similar that would help out a lot. Besides that, sometimes tapping the wristband wouldn't work but that was a minor fix. But if the attendee was having problems checking in wristbands, it now created a line to get in the line you already waited around to get in.
I see what they are going for, but to me, it did not seem worth it.
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Is there any word on a "stainless" system where guests stay on the donuts and get jetted up slides to the top of the water slides?